Little wizards entering Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were allowed to bring along a pet, typically limited to cats, owls, toads, or occasionally a creature like Ron's pet rat. Dogs were a rarity at the school, with the exception of the three-headed dog Fluffy and Fang, Hagrid's loyal companion.
Charlie, however, defied the norm. A fierce Doberman pinscher with an air of authority, he had been trained to be both a guardian and a hunting hound. Bringing him to Hogwarts was a prospect that might not align with the school's regulations.
"Poor fellow," Artel mused as he stroked Charlie's head. The dog responded with an affectionate nuzzle, his focus never wavering from the juicy steak before him.
After their leisurely stroll, Artel returned to the castle to catch a bit of television. Then, it was time for lunch, a brief siesta, and eventually, Artel's scheduled marksmanship training.
The afternoons were dedicated to rigorous training, alternating between marksmanship, equestrian skills, and combat techniques. Artel had chosen a PPK pistol for his shooting practice, designed to minimize recoil. Still, even with a lighter firearm, his wrists ached after the session.
Bullseyes were a consistent mark on stationary targets, while moving ones proved more challenging. Artel's determination was evident as he persevered through the training, his accuracy improving with each attempt.
Guiding Artel in this endeavor was his father Freddie's trusted comrade, Jerome. A seasoned sharpshooter who had saved Freddie's life on several occasions, Jerome had Artel's utmost respect.
"Your skill is commendable, Artel. The Shelbys would take pride in your precision, hitting moving targets and nailing the bullseye on the stationary ones," Jerome praised.
Artel humbly acknowledged the compliment, attributing his progress to Jerome's guidance. "I couldn't have achieved this without your patient teaching, Uncle Jerome. Your wisdom has truly honed my abilities."
Jerome chuckled heartily, taking a sip from his glass before recounting anecdotes from his daring exploits alongside Freddy in Birmingham. With the afternoon's training concluded, Artel headed to the castle's private swimming pool for a refreshing soak, followed by a delectable spread of cakes. After a leisurely tea time, Artel indulged in a few laps in the pool before returning to the castle.
As the day's activities wound down, Artel settled in front of the television. Anticipation had been building for weeks, his excitement fueled by the imminent arrival of an owl-borne letter. Finally, that evening, a soft rapping on his window heralded the arrival of the awaited missive.
It was an owl bearing Professor McGonagall's response. The letter informed Artel that Professor McGonagall would visit him on July 30 at 3:00 p.m. The subtle undertone of the letter hinted at a favorable impression she held of him.
Artel glanced at the calendar, marking off the days. A week remained until the encounter.
"In a mere week, I shall step into the world of wizards," Artel murmured, captivated by thoughts of the enigmatic magic and boundless power that awaited.
In preparation for Professor McGonagall's visit, Artel sought out Michael, informing him of the distinguished guest's imminent arrival. He entrusted Michael with arranging delectable desserts and beverages for the afternoon tea.
Furthermore, Artel conveyed his wishes to have the Razorback gunmen stationed at Shelby Manor informed ahead of time. He aimed to ensure that the presence of armed gang members wouldn't surprise Professor McGonagall upon her arrival.
Finally, after much anticipation, the day arrived: July 30.
The clock neared two fifty in the afternoon as Artel, accompanied by Sophia, Shelby, and a retinue of servants, gathered at the manor's entrance. And then, at 2:58, a graceful silver tabby cat appeared on the road leading to Shelby Manor. Artel's eyes lit up in recognition – this had to be Professor McGonagall, who was known for her Animagus form.
But the unexpected happened. Instead of approaching, the tabby cat paused and abruptly darted into the nearby woods.
In truth, Professor McGonagall hadn't anticipated such a crowd awaiting her arrival at the manor's gate. As a witch, she couldn't display her magic in the presence of Muggles, with the exception of special circumstances like Hogwarts admissions.
The crowd's size overwhelmed her, consisting not only of Artel and his guardian but also unrelated individuals. Thus, Professor McGonagall decided to take refuge in the woods.
"Our time draws near," Michael announced, glancing at his pocket watch. It read two fifty-nine.
"She'll arrive punctually," Artel assured, just as a woman emerged from the woods, causing a stir among those assembled at the manor's entrance.
This was Professor McGonagall, a woman of serious demeanor, adorned in an emerald green robe. Her glasses perched on her nose, she appeared to be in her sixties or seventies, her face bearing the marks of time, but her spirit untouched. Her black hair was pulled back in a dignified manner, an aura of mystery surrounding her as she fixed her gaze on Artel.
[It is detected that the host has successfully contacted important plot characters in the Harry Potter world, and the system is turned on! Please host as soon as possible to choose the artifact that needs to be created.]
Intrigued, Artel pondered the significance. "Artifact? What sort of artifact?"
Caught in the moment, Artel's thoughts swirled. His realization was swift: he had unwittingly unlocked a power linked to the world of Harry Potter.
"Mr. Artel Shelby?" Professor McGonagall inquired, a hint of curiosity in her voice.
Caught between astonishment and surprise, Artel promptly regained his composure, offering Professor McGonagall a gentlemanly salute. "Greetings, Professor McGonagall. Allow me to express my sincere surprise."
Artel confessed his initial misgivings, revealing that he had pictured witches through the lens of dark legends, often associated with curses and ill fortune. However, his perception had shifted upon meeting her, noting her kindness and warmth.
Professor McGonagall's features softened into a smile, touched by Artel's words. "I appreciate your candor, Artel."
The exchange puzzled onlookers, especially Michael, whose vigilance was prompted by the reference to witches. He presumed that Artel had been deceived by this enigmatic woman.
Nevertheless, Michael held his tongue as Artel extended an invitation to the castle. Wordlessly, he exchanged glances with his brother Jimmy, conveying a silent agreement.
The group embarked on a peculiar journey from the gate to the castle – a short distance by car, though noteworthy in the context of Shelby Manor's sprawling grounds.
Seated together, Professor McGonagall and Artel exchanged small talk. Jimmy, curious about Professor McGonagall's background, questioned, "Professor McGonagall, may I inquire about the institution where you pursued your studies?"
Jimmy's inquisitiveness caught Professor McGonagall's attention. As she looked back at him through the rearview mirror, he sought to decipher the truth, to ascertain if she was truly a witch.
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